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AVS Speakers Bureau

Featuring Great Vegan Speakers across America.
Need a speaker for your VegFest or other event? Please contact the speakers directly for more information and scheduling.

AVS honors the following speakers for their ability to deliver a great vegan speech and their expertise on a specific topic. The knowledge, actions, and opinions expressed by the speakers represent individual views, not necessarily those of American Vegan Society.

Maribeth Abrams (CT)

Maribeth Abrams is a certified holistic health practitioner, author of two cookbooks The 4-Ingredient Vegan and Tofu 1-2-3, and mother of two college students who have been vegan since birth. Known for her lively and approachable demeanor, her presentations offer a blend of motivation and education. MaribethAbrams.com

Sample Talks: Eat Better, Feel Better, Live Better: Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet; Eating for Cancer Survival; Eating for Bone Vitality and Osteoporosis Prevention; Raising Vegan Children; Eating in Alignment with Our Values (perfect for religious & spiritual groups); screenings and discussions on documentaries such as Cowspiracy, Forks Over Knives, and Peaceable Kingdom.

Contact: via website MaribethAbrams.com

“It was nearly twenty-five years ago that I embraced veganism, a decision that continues to bring me immeasurable joy. It’s a fulfilling and satisfying and meaningful gift, surpassed only by the opportunity to share it through public speaking.”

Rebecca Aslam, MS, RD, LDN (MA)

Rebecca Aslam is a registered dietitian working at a large teaching hospital, primarily with patients with cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. She is a nutrition advisor to the American Vegan Society, a lifelong vegan, and fourth-generation vegetarian. She loves experimenting with vegan cooking and enjoys working with individuals or speaking to groups of all sizes.

Sample Talks: Plant-Based Nutrition Basics; Plant-Based Diets for the Treatment of Chronic Diseases Such as Type 2 Diabetes, Cardiovascular, etc.; Transitioning to a Vegan Diet; Be Healthy and Happy on a Vegan Diet

Contact: 617-308-7488, rebecca.aslam@gmail.com

“Growing up vegan drew me to an interest in nutrition, and I became a registered dietitian hoping to help people be healthy and successful on plant-based diets. I believe in the power of plant-based diets to prevent and treat chronic diseases and am grateful to be able to spread the message.”

Ted Barnett, MD (NY)

Ted Barnett, MD is board certified in diagnostic imaging as well as vascular and interventional radiology and has practiced in the Rochester area since 1986. Dr. Barnett teaches a six-week plant-based nutrition course which is accredited for twelve professional CME. He is the founder, CEO, and medical director of Rochester Lifestyle Medicine, PLLC, a medical group created to teach plant-based nutrition to thousands of people in the Rochester area and to turn back the tide of obesity and chronic disease. He, his wife, and three children have thrived on an exclusively plant-based diet since 1991. He has been the co-coordinator of Rochester Area Vegan Society since 1995. RochesterVeg.org

Sample Talks: The History of Dietary Recommendations and Multiple Diseases Including Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Cancer, etc.

Contact: drveggie@gmail.com

“I consider myself the high-tech doctor with low-tech solutions because the majority of expensive procedures I perform would not have been necessary if patients had healthy lifestyles.”

 Steve Blake, ScD (HI)


Steve Blake lectures widely about the role of nutrition in health. He attended the University of California at Berkeley and has a doctorate in nutritional biochemistry. Dr. Blake is nutritional biochemist for Hawaii Pacific Neuroscience, where he has authored a clinical trial for Alzheimer’s disease. He is the author of the college textbook Vitamins and Minerals Demystified and the dietary analysis software, the Diet Doctor. Dr. Blake is the Maui director for the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii. drsteveblake.com

Sample Talks: A Nutritional Approach to Alzheimer’s Disease; Arthritis, a Natural Approach; How to Overcome Diabetes; Defensive Medicine; Comparing the Nutrition in Popular Diets; Healthy Hearts: How Not to Get a Heart Attack

Contact: 808-280-6865, steve@drsteveblake.com

“It is my honor to teach how vegan food promotes health and fights disease. Thank you, Freya Dinshah and the American Vegan Society for your good work and great bookstore.”

Harold Brown (NY)

Harold Brown, a character in the documentary Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home, spent half of his life in agriculture. Growing up on a beef farm in Michigan and later working in the dairy industry, Harold has been involved in the behind-the-scenes operations of food production that uses animals. Today Harold is an activist advocating for sustainable food production, social and environmental justice, animal liberation, and peace through nonviolence.

Sample Talks: : Exposing the Humane Myth; Living a Morally Consistent Life; Activism: Communicating Effectively for the Planet, the Animals, and Us; Food Justice?; All You Need Is Love; Trusting Our Hearts and Living with Joy.

Contact: 607-425-2524 farmkind@empireaccess.net

“We are responsible for bringing meaning to our lives. I believe that I cannot go wrong if compassion, empathy, and love are my core values. Indeed, our world will be a better place if we all strive to live these principles.”

Mary R Clifton, MD (MN)

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Mary R Clifton, MD practices internal medicine in Duluth. Seven years ago, she cured herself of prediabetes and lowered her cholesterol with simple diet changes. Since then she’s helped thousands of others get healthy and strong by changing their diet. Dr. Mary is coauthor of the bestselling book Waist Away and companion cookbook Get Waisted. She cofounded a healthy weight-loss program. getwaisted.com

Sample Talks: Antioxidants and Your Food; Bulletproof: Protecting Yourself from Chronic Disease with Diet; How to Lose Weight Joyfully and Supercharge Your Life

Contact: 231-342-6132, drmary@drmarymd.com

"What we do, what we say, and what we write connects us to the environment and beings around us. Don’t underestimate the value of everyday decisions you make. By helping you change your diet choices to reflect your spiritual values, we can work together not only to give you optimal health but also to change the world.”

Sherry F. Colb (NY)


Sherry Colb is a Professor of Law and Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell Law School. She received her A.B. from Columbia College (valedictorian) and her J.D. from Harvard Law School. She publishes a bi-weekly column on Verdict.Justia.com which often takes up issues of veganism and animal rights. Her latest book is Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? And Other Questions People Ask Vegans.

Sample Talks: Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? How to Respond to the Confrontational Questions People Ask Vegans; Do Vegans Experience Stereotype Threat?; Should Animal Rights Start With Dogs?

Contact: 607-323-1292, sfcolb@gmail.com

“I feel honored and humbled by the opportunity to talk to people about veganism and animal rights. Becoming vegan and embracing the community of human and nonhuman animals represented a fundamental shift in my life and way of being in the world. Sharing my story with others is a joy!”

Fran Costigan (NY)


Fran Costigan is a culinary instructor, innovative vegan pastry chef, and the author of three cookbooks. A graduate of the New York Restaurant School and Natural Gourmet Institute, Fran was a pastry chef first in traditional and later in vegan restaurant kitchens before moving into teaching. Fran teaches her distinctive classes (including her Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive®) in NYC at the Institute of Culinary Education and the Natural Gourmet Institute. She presents cooking demonstrations and workshops at events throughout North America and Europe. francostigan.com

Sample Talks: Creating Vegan Cooking Classes That Sell (to Everyone); The Dessert Dilemma: Can You Eat a Healthy Plant-Based Diet and Have Dessert Too?

Contact: fran@francostigan.com

“I’m honored and delighted to be part of AVS Speakers Bureau. Since its beginning in 1960, AVS has played a critical role in educating the public about the ethical and health benefits of following a vegan lifestyle.”

Anne Dinshah (NY/NJ)


Anne Dinshah is a rowing coach, lifelong vegan, third-generation vegetarian, mom to vegan son Clint, and author of Dating Vegans and Healthy Hearty Helpings. She coauthored with her mother Freya Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake. Her newest book is Powerful Vegan Messages, coauthored with her late father Jay. Anne credits Freya for instilling in her a love of cooking and Jay for a love of speaking to large audiences.americanvegan.org

Sample Talks: Dynamic Harmlessness for Today's World;
3 Secrets to Healthy Recipes Everyone Loves; The Pillars of Ahimsa;
Calisthenics Crosstraining for Anyone Anywhere.

Contact: 856-694-2887, Anne@americanvegan.org

“Remember who you were before you became vegan. Weren’t you a kind, compassionate person deserving of being loved? Give someone else the opportunity to learn! Share powerful vegan messages with the next generation and the world will rapidly improve.”

Freya Dinshah (NJ)


Freya Dinshah is coauthor of the new book Apples, Bean Dip, and Carrot Cake: Kids! Teach Yourself to Cook. She has been a key organizer for local and national events to encourage compassionate, healthful living. Freya has taught cooking classes to people of all ages for over forty years. She is a lifetime vegetarian and vegan for fifty-four years. She serves as nutrition educator and teaches basic cooking skills to children ages three to eighteen at after-school programs in southern NJ. She is president of AVS, editor of American Vegan, and author of The Vegan Kitchen, the first US cookbook with vegan in its title. americanvegan.org.

Sample Talks: Discovering Veganism; Vegan Fine Dining; Quality Time—Cooking with Kids

Contact: 856-694-2887

“The vegan light is getting brighter every day and shining further. Ahimsa is powerful enough to light the entire world.”

Michael C. Dorf (NY)

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Michael C. Dorf is Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he is the author of four books and numerous articles on law and its relation to social change. As a vegan activist, he applies the lessons he has learned from studying other justice movements.

Sample Talks: How Activists Create Change; Winning by Losing and Winning by Winning; Animal Rights and Legal Rights; Speaking Up for Vegan Kids.

Contact: 607-323-1492, mikedorf@gmail.com

“I was trained as a lawyer to give voice to the interests, people who could not represent themselves. As a vegan, I try to respect the interests of all beings.”

Barata El (NJ)


Barata El (NJ) is a lifelong resident of South Jersey; he became vegan July 1 1991. As a law enforcement officer in the NJ Department of Corrections for twenty-five years, he only met two other vegans in his line of work. Barata has a B.A. in theater arts from Rowan University. He married a beautiful native Jamaican woman in 1988 who is not vegan. They have four children and two grandchildren. Since age fourteen, Barata has been writing universal poetry—poems with which anyone from any culture can identify.

Sample Talks: How I Became a Vegan; Ahimsa and Societal Behavior; How Veganism Impacts the Environment and Sensibilities

Contact: 609-458-7185, barata@comcast.net

“I was introduced to AVS in 1980, and they have become like family to me. Veganism is more than a diet because of the philosophical connection with ahimsa. Connecting to that energy can change the direction of the entire world on all levels: political, economic, environmental, planetary, and more.”

JoAnn Farb (KS)

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JoAnn Farb is the author of two books, Compassionate Souls: Raising the Next Generation to Change the World, and Get Off Gluten. She is a former microbiologist with a large pharmaceutical corporation, who now teaches cooking classes and nutrition education in Kansas. Her keynote presentation, What Really Matters, is a mind and heart opening journey for all audiences, designed to connect social justice and environmental sustainability with health. CompassionateSouls.com and Getoffgluten.blogspot.com

Sample Talks: What Really Matters; From Pharmaceutical Rep to Vegan Activist; Raising Healthy Compassionate Children; Why Gluten is Important for Vegans to Understand; How to Go Vegan

Contact: via website joannfarb.com

“Veganism is a powerful tool for addressing the fundamental challenge, from which all our problems spring: We humans have the capacity of being desensitized to specific injustices our culture teaches us to ignore. Those of us who have made the connection, have the responsibility to connect social justice with environmental sustainability and health for others.”

Lee Hall, LLM (PA/NJ/DE)


Lee Hall holds a Master of Laws in environmental law with a focus on climate change, and teaches at Widener University. Lee has appeared on Court TV, Gooseberry Productions’ Exploring Rights for Animals, Allegheny Front Environmental Radio, and It’s All About Food with Caryn Hartglass, and written for Growing Green International and American Vegan. A vegan since 1983, Lee’s books are On Their Own Terms about animals, freedom, and veganism and Capers in the Churchyard. Blog is Veganplace.wordpress.com.

Sample Talks: Are Sustainable, Humane Animal Products for Real? For Humanity and Everybody Else: Be Conversant on Climate Change; Beyond a Government-the-Hunter Paradigm; Objections to Veganism: Respond and Represent!

Contact: climatelaw@me.com

“The American Vegan Society Speakers Bureau is a valuable offering to the public, and I'm glad to contribute, raising consciousness about our planet and all who experience their lives on it.”

Amie Hamlin (NY)

Amie Hamlin has been executive director of the Coalition for Healthy School Food since its founding in 2004. She wrote a NY state legislative resolution for healthy plant-based entrees and nutrition education in schools which passed unanimously in 2004. The Coalition developed recipes distributed to 25,000 schools nationwide, a middle school Family and Consumer Sciences Cooking Curriculum, a third- through fifth-grade curriculum Food UnEarthed: Uncovering the Truth About Food, and nutrition education resources. Amie consults with schools to help them implement healthy change.

Sample Talks: Food, Mood, and Behavior: Keeping Kids Healthy, Focused, and Learning; Food & The Environment: Teaching Kids the Most Powerful Thing They Can Do to Save the Planet; Diet & Disease: How to Help Your Children Avoid the Most Common Diseases.

Contact: amie@healthyschoolfood.org

“American Vegan Society has changed and saved so many lives. Thank you for the incredible work you do. It is an honor to join your Speakers Bureau.”

Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT (CA)

Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT is a registered dietitian, the host of the wellness talk-show series What Would Julieanna Do? on Z Living Network, author of the books The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, and the nutrition columnist for VegNews magazine. She counsels a variety of clients throughout the world from her Los Angeles-based private practice including elite athletes, adults, and children with various nutritional and/or medical concerns. Julieanna received her bachelor’s degree from UCLA and master’s of science in nutrition at California State University, Northridge. PlantBasedDietitian.com

Sample Talks: Let the Myths Stop Here; Ten Tenets to Optimal Health; Plant-Based Nutrition: The Future of Healthcare; Winning the Weight-Loss War; and Plant-Based Sports Nutrition

Contact: via website PlantBasedDietitian.com/contact/

“Let thy leafy greens be thy medicine and thy medicine be leafy greens...”

Sherimane Johnson (PA)

Sherimane Johnson is a vegan baker who shares the good news and health benefits of eating a plant-based diet. She utilizes fruits and vegetables to make her desserts sweet and delicious, instead of loaded with sugar. Sherimane shares her personal experience with diabetes, the disease that took her beloved grandmother, and how adopting a vegan way of eating has improved her own health. Sherimane is the mother of two young adults. Known for her lively and approachable demeanor, her presentations offer a blend of motivation and education, making a difference one cupcake at a time. NaturallySweetDesserts.com

Sample Talks: The Basics of Vegan Baking; The Basics of Eating Vegan—Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.

Contact: via website NaturallySweetDesserts.com

“I started my business to pass on my knowledge about eating healthfully by providing desserts as a teaching tool that is approachable, practical, and empowering.”

Ellen Jaffe Jones, CPT, CRC (FL)


Ellen Jaffe Jones is a personal trainer and running coach, the author of Eat Vegan on $4 a Day, Kitchen Divided, and Paleo Vegan. She was seventh in the U.S. in her age group in the 1500 meter run in 2013 and first in Florida in 2015 in the 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500 meters, and has finished marathons, rare for someone with her sprint times. Ellen is a two-time, Emmy-winning investigative reporter. VegCoach.com.

Sample Talks: Eat Vegan/Stay Fit on a Budget; Coping When Others Eat Differently; Vegan Fitness and Running; Crafting Effective Vegan Messages

Contact: 941-704-1025, ejones@vegcoach.com

“I appreciate the opportunity through such a long-standing, reputable organization as AVS to destroy vegan myths. I love to introduce people to the fun and deep meaning of remaining mission-consistent to core values of compassion and love for all animals. Future generations will ask, “What did you do to save the planet?”

Brook Katz (FL)


Brook Katz has dedicated his life to the sciences and maintains a logic-and-reason approach to life. He has training in emergency medicine and holistic medicines. Brook uses food as a healing tool, and has become a gourmet chef in order to get the messages across. He authored several cookbooks including New Favorites and made videos. Brook feeds vegan food to thousands of people every year absolutely free of charge because he feels it's one of the best and most dramatic ways of convincing people to listen to the rest of the truths.

Sample Talks: Whole Foods as Medicine; Tips from a Thirty-Year Vegan; Preparing Vegan Cuisine for Friends or Family; The Science of Being Vegan

Contact: 954-971-4432, brookkatz@hotmail.com

“You create your own reality.”

Michael Klaper, MD (CA & HI)

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Michael Klaper, MD is a practicing physician and consultant with over forty years of experience in general practice and acute-care medicine. He is trained in surgery, anesthesiology, orthopedics, and obstetrics. Dr. Klaper believes strongly that proper nutrition and a balanced lifestyle are essential for health. He is the author of several books and videos on vegan nutrition and serves on the staff of True North Health Center, Santa Rosa CA. doctorklaper.com

Sample Talks: Nutritional Health and Healing; From the Operating Room to the Dining Room; Eating as If the Earth Mattered; Avoiding Pitfalls in Vegan Nutrition; Smart Food Choices for the 21st Century; Food for the Spiritual Journey

Contact: michael@doctorklaper.com

“AVS’ work promulgating the vegan ideal is increasingly important as it offers the only real solution to our ever-more-pressing problems of world hunger and environmental destruction.”

Ellie Laks (CA/TN)

Ellie Laks is the founder of The Gentle Barn Foundation and author of My Gentle Barn. Since Ellie was seven years old, she has rescued lost, abandoned, sick, or injured animals and brought them home to heal. In 1999, after majoring in psychology and special education, Ellie established The Gentle Barn as a sanctuary for severely abused and neglected animals. After the animals fully recover, healthy and happy, they help Ellie give hope and inspiration to at-risk, inner-city, and special-needs children who have similar stories of abuse and neglect. Through interaction, children learn kindness, compassion, confidence, and cultivate self-awareness and hope for the future. GentleBarn.org.

Sample Talks: Holding the Light for Animals; Animals, My Greatest Teachers: Lessons Learned; The Truth Behind Meat, Dairy, and Egg Industries.

Contact: tgboutreach@gmail.com

“My goal is to build Gentle Barns around the world, teaching people kindness and compassion to animals, each other, and our planet.”

Mary Lawrence (CT)

Mary Lawrence, a trustee for AVS, is executive chef and owner of Well on Wheels, Connecticut's premier vegan personal chef service. She also runs Ahimsa Health & Harmony, a vegan wellness center. Mary’s culinary creations are on the blog, The Traveling Vegan Chef wellonwheels.blogspot.com. Her two recent cookbooks are Easy Peasy Vegan Eats (2014) and Eat Vegan with Me (2017). Mary earned a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Dr. T. Colin Campbell Foundation at eCornell University. She studied culinary arts at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. wellonwheels.com

Sample Talks: Vegan Resolutions: Get Healthy in the Kitchen; Healthy Cooking in a Hurry; Stocking Your Vegan Pantry; Planting a Chef's Kitchen Garden; Cooking Vegan for Nonvegan Friends.

Contact: 860-985-1645, mary@wellonwheels.com

“When we come together in unity with compassion for ourselves and all beings, we can heal the planet. We can empower ourselves and each other to create a global vegan community that represents a new social norm based on compassion and justice, not exploitation and violence.”

Vance Lehmkuhl (PA)

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Vance Lehmkuhl (PA) is the vegan columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, writing the food column V for Veg (since 2011) and the philly.com blog V for Vegan (since 2013). He's known for his audience-participation cartoon “Drawalong” and for his eco-conscious pop band Green Beings. He is the creator and host of Vegcast (vegcast.com), one of the first vegan podcasts, with more than a hundred interviews still free online. Philly.com/vforveg

Sample Talks: New-Vegan Answers to Others’ Common Questions; Drawing Out Your Inner Vegan (Drawalong); The Vegan Answer to Climate Change; To Buy or Not To Buy? Targeting Your Vegan Dollars

Contact: soyjoy@earthlink.net

“Get out there and live like you mean it!"

Linda Long (NY)

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Linda Long has had a lifelong relationship with food and hospitality and has been a committed vegan for more than half of her life. Trained as a home economist, she has had a varied career in the academic, corporate, and media communities, with an emphasis in fashion, food, and nutritional topics. She authored/photographed Great Chefs Cook Vegan and Virgin Vegan. She is host/NYC producer for Vegan Hotspot, web-based TV show by Delicious TV that spotlights vegan restaurants in New York City. Linda gave the first talk on a vegan subject at James Beard House. lindalong.com, virginvegan.com

Sample Talks: Why Be Vegan? Shoot Better Food Shots; Are You a Virgin Vegan? Why No Dairy? How the Great Chefs Cook Vegan!

Contact:212-721-1113, 917-373-0399, linda@lindalong.com

“I am thrilled to be part of the AVS Speakers Bureau. It is tremendous pleasure to look into an audience and see faces and minds that are eager to know more about a plant-based lifestyle.”

Dale Lugenbehl (OR)

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Dale Lugenbehl is a writer and has taught college philosophy classes for more than thirty years. He has also served as co-director of Ahimsa Acres Educational Center since 1995. Dale’s areas of interest include the ethics of personal food choices, voluntary simplicity/low-consumption living, environmentally-conscious home-food production, understanding the processes of personal and societal change, and engaged Buddhism. ahimsaacres.org

Sample Talks: Environmental Impact of Personal Food Choices; Widening Our Circle of Compassion to Include All Species; Ethical Components of Choosing a Vegan Lifestyle; Making the Change to Vegan Eating; What the Buddha Really Taught about Eating Meat

Contact: lugenbehld@lanecc.edu

“I am interested in helping all of us to see that we have more choices than we think we have and to see the ways we are unknowingly causing suffering for ourselves and others.”

David M. Madow, D.D.S. (MD)

David M. Madow, DDS (MD) is an author with a passion for helping people live their healthiest possible lives. Now in his sixties, he stays active running marathons, backpacking, skiing, and climbing mountains. Formerly a practicing dentist, Dr. Dave combines comedy, music, and fun in talks, and is a member of The National Speakers Association. His weekly podcast, “The David Madow Lifestyle Show,” has over 275,000 listeners. DavidMadow.com

Sample Talks: How to Thrive on a Plant-Based Lifestyle. Customized topics that may be covered include plant-based eating, goal setting, weight loss, nutrition, exercise, meditation, forgiveness, and happiness.

Contact: 410-504-2186, rundrdave@gmail.com

“I was put on this earth to change lives. Whenever I speak to a live audience or do a broadcast, if I change just one life, I am happy. But more often than not, I change many lives! And that makes me really happy!”

Andy Mars, PhD (CA)

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Andy Mars, PhD is a visionary leader in education. He directs totally vegan camps and a vegan K-12 school. Andy is Rabbi of Bnai Tov vegan synagogue, director of Veg Kids and the Kids Make a Difference Foundation. His mission is: “Helping make a difference in the lives of kids; helping kids make a difference in life.” veganday.info vegkids.org    vegancamp.org    vejewtarian.org

Sample Talks: Raising Veg Kids; Empowering Kids to Make a Difference; How a Vegan Diet Can Help Kids Better Focus & Function; The Ten Commandments to Better Health; Veganism: A Jewish Ideal

Contact: Andy@KidsMakeADifference.org

“When I became vegan, I did not even yet know that there was a word for those conscious beliefs that resonated so deeply in my soul. When I came across AVS, I was delighted to find out that there were others who believed as I did, a national organization to help vegans connect and promote veganism throughout the country.”

Christopher-Sebastian McJetters (NY/England)

Christopher-Sebastian McJetters is a longtime vegan and social commenter who divides his time between London and NYC. A copyeditor by profession, Sebastian is a staff writer at Vegan Publishers, part-time lecturer on speciesism at Columbia University, and board member of Peace Advocacy Network. He explains why veganism is a useful tool for deconstructing multiple systemic oppressions. Sebastian contributed to the anthology Circles of Compassion, UK-based Barefoot Vegan magazine, and the blog "Striving With Systems."

Sample Talks: Race, Class, Species: Dismantling injustice by embracing veganism and animal rights; Queering Animal Liberation: On queer bullying and animal violence, American gay male hypermasculinity, and gender presentation in nonhumans

Contact: christopher.mcjetters@gmail.com

“Supremacist ideologies may manifest themselves differently, but oppression is always oppression, species is irrelevant.”

Vesanto Melina, MS, RD (BC Canada)

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Vesanto Melina, MS, RD is coauthor of 10 books on nutrition, foods, and disease prevention. Her latest book (with Brenda Davis), Becoming Vegan: Express Edition, was given star rating by the American Library Association as the “go-to book” on vegan nutrition. She has taught nutrition at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and at Seattle’s Bastyr University. nutrispeak.com

Sample Talks: Update on Vegetarian, Vegan, and Raw Food Nutrition; Veg. Nutrition for Superb Health; Staying Healthy: Plant-based Diets to Protect against Chronic Disease; Raw Food Diets; Surviving and Thriving Despite Food Allergies

Contact: 604-882-6782, vesanto.melina@gmail.com

“A long-term vegan myself, I enjoy speaking to groups of health professionals and to vegetarian, vegan, and raw associations, with a view to helping people create an optimal diet and find solutions for key issues.”

Victoria Moran (NY)

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Victoria Moran is a vegan of thirty years and the Oprah-featured author of eleven books including her latest, Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World. Victoria hosts the weekly Main Street Vegan show on Unity.fm, and she is the founder and director of Main Street Vegan Academy training and certifying vegan lifestyle coaches. mainstreetvegan.net

Sample Talks: Main Street Vegan: Eating Green & Loving Life in the Real World; The Look Great, Feel Amazing, Change the World Lifestyle

Contact: 212-289-1808, victoria@mainstreetvegan.net

“It’s a real gift that I'm able to devote my life to sharing the vegan message, and there’s no better organization to be associated with than the American Vegan Society. AVS was the sole source of vegan information in this country for many years, and all of us who've come along later are simply continuing the revolutionary work begun by Jay and Freya Dinshah in 1960.”

John Morlino (MD)

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John Morlino is a former social worker who founded The ETHIC (The Essence of True Humanity Is Compassion) the-ethic.org, to help create a world where all beings live free from violence and oppression. His commentaries have been published worldwide, and he's been a featured speaker at the Animal Rights National Conference; Vegetarian Summerfest; the World Vegetarian Congress; the Gandhian Conference on Nonviolence; the JAINA an YJA conventions; and the Washington (DC) Ethical Society.

Sample Talks: Extending Compassion to All Beings; Compassion Is a Journey--Not a Destination; Putting Animal Rights Back into the Animal Rights Movement

Contact: via website the-ethic.org

“I’m grateful to be a member of the American Vegan Society’s speakers bureau, as few organizations embody the principles of Ahimsa as well as AVS does.”

Ana Negron, M.D. (PA)

Ana M. Negrón, M.D., was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Dr. Negrón is a board-certified family physician who has made cooking with patients integral to her practice. She helps people transition to a whole-plant diet, thereby reducing the inflammation which is at the root of most chronic medical conditions. Dr. Negrón volunteers at a clinic for the uninsured and teaches family doctors the role of food in medicine. Her book, Nourishing the Body and Recovering Health: The Positive Science of Food published by Sunstone Press, is an antidote to our reliance on pharmaceuticals.

Sample Talks: The Patient with Multiple Risk Factors; Household Nutrition; Plant-Food Literacy; What It Means to Live Vegan.

Contact: 610-525-6246 x4, ana.m.negron@gmail.com

“In my medical practice as in my private life I have a clear sense of purpose—to advance food literacy, reduce suffering, and limit damage to our selves and our surroundings.”

 John Pierre (CO)

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John Pierre is a nutrition and fitness consultant, famous as a personal trainer to celebrities, rock stars, and Fortune 500 CEOs. His book, The Pillars of Health: Your Foundations for Lifelong Wellness, explains four principles: real food, mind stimulation, physical movement, and spiritual philosophy. johnpierre.com

Sample Talks: Fine-tuning the Vegan Diet; The Power of a Plant-Based Diet; Veganism−More than a Diet, It’s a Lifestyle

Contact: foodsforlifejp@yahoo.com

“I greatly admire AVS because of their commitment to the principles of ahimsa and compassion. I deeply appreciate their dedication to help educate everyone about the importance of embracing a lifestyle based on sustainable and ethical dietary choices.”


Christina Pirello’s love affair with food began at a young age. She would put her cooking skills to the test when she was diagnosed with terminal leukemia. Meeting (her now husband) Robert Pirello would change her life forever; he helped her adopt a healthier lifestyle and diet, and she overcame the odds of her diagnosis and developed an expertise in cooking with whole-natural foods. She is an expert in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, acupuncture, macrobiotics, and has a Masters Degree in Nutrition. She teaches vegan/macrobiotic cooking, has authored eight cookbooks, and is hostess of the Emmy Award-winning TV show “Christina Cooks".

Sample Talks: Health Is Not the Luck of the Draw; You Just Have to Know What to Eat; Let Food Be Thy Medicine; The Care and Feeding of Your Breasts; The Heart of the Matter; Aging Gracefully; Eating as Though All Life Matters; Energize Your Life; Cook Your Ass Off; How to Be a Happier Camper

Contact: robert@christinacooks.com, www.christinacooks.com

“To be considered a part of the work that AVS does in the world is an immense honor. Welcoming people into a healthy, plant-passionate lifestyle is so important in this world, where cruelty is often seen as a sign of strength. AVS stands for compassion for all living things which shows true strength of character, and I am proud to stand with them.”

Brenda Sanders (MD)

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Brenda Sanders serves as one of the directors of Open the Cages Alliance, an animal advocacy organization for which she organizes a vegan education program, animal rights demonstrations, and family-friendly events promoting the vegan lifestyle including Vegan SoulFest in Baltimore. She’s also the executive director of Better Health, Better Life, a community-health organization for which she conducts lectures, workshops, healthy-living classes, and food demos.

Sample Talks: Making the Connection: Veganism and Social Justice; Why the World Can't Wait for You to Go Vegan; Veganism: A Diet, Philosophy or Ethical Choice?

Contact: 443-219-7971, brenda@bhblnow.org

“I dedicated my life to doing vegan outreach once I realized how many of the world's most pressing problems this lifestyle can help to address. I am honored to help to spread this knowledge as a member of the AVS Speakers Bureau.”

Kerrie Saunders, MS, LLP, PhD (MI)

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Kerrie Saunders, MS, LLP, PhD is the author of The Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention. She costarred with John Pierre in the food demo DVDs When Bachelor Meets Homemaker. She began her career as a master’s level psychologist and earned her doctorate in natural health. Her current interests include how foods affect neurotransmitters and in nutrigenomics. drfood.org

Sample Talks: Using Food & Fitness to Fight Osteoporosis/Cancer/Diabetes; Diet as Disease Prevention; Cravings & Food Addiction; Lifestyle Medicine, Body Composition & Nutritional Excellence; Advanced Issues in Nutrition for Vegetarians; The Transition Kitchen: Going from 0 to Veg in One Day

Contact: 248-808-3601, drkerriesaunders@gmail.com

“It is truly an honor to help AVS promote the lifestyle that helps me feel so healthy and vibrant, while respecting the lives of other humans and animals and the planet.”

Miyoko Schinner (CA)

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Miyoko Schinner (CA) is a chef and entrepreneur promoting delicious, decadent, and healthful plant-based foods for thirty years. She is the founder of Miyoko’s Kitchen, a leading maker of artisan vegan cheese. She is cohost of Vegan Mashup, a television show seen on PBS. Her bestselling cookbook, Artisan Vegan Cheese, helped many people transition to veganism. Her latest book is The Homemade Vegan Pantry. artisanveganlife.com, miyokoskitchen.com

Sample Talks: How to Get Dairy Out of Your Diet; Get Flavor into Your Diet and Junk Food Out; Yes, You Can Have Your Cheese and Eat It Too!

Contact: info@miyokoskitchen.com

“My goal is to put artistry into the vegan lifestyle by creating beautiful food that doesn’t harm animals, the planet, or your health, and carry this message to as many people as possible.”

Ori Shavit (Israel)

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Ori Shavit is a food writer and critic, media person, a leading promoter of the Israeli vegan cuisine and vegan culture, and an activist for animal liberation and green lifestyle. Ori organizes and hosts cooking workshops and dinners, offers culinary counseling, and owns the urban vegetable restaurant, Miss Kaplan, in Tel Aviv. She publishes recipes and info on her website Vegansontop.com and on the food channel of YNET, one of the most popular Israeli news and content websites. Shavit cooked for the first vegan dinner in the Israeli Parliament on the Knesset's Animal Rights Day. Ori speaks fluent English and Hebrew and tours in the U.S.

Sample Talks: The Compassion Revolution: How and Why Veganism Has Taken Israel by Storm; What You Eat Can Change the World; Culinary Activism; Mediterranean-Israeli cooking demo

Contact: oshavit@gmail.com

“Cooperation between Israeli activists and activists around the globe will push veganism forwards.”

Rae Sikora (NM)

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Rae Sikora has been vegan and a full-time spokesperson for other species for over thirty years. She is cofounder of Plant Peace Daily, Vegfund, and the Institute for Humane Education. Rae leads compassionate living and ethical consumerism programs for diverse audiences ranging from schools and prisons to businesses and universities. Her work takes her from the U.S. to the Middle East and Central America. plantpeacedaily.org

Sample Talks: Human Billboards; Vegan Is NOT a Diet; Despair Repair; Under One Roof; Clever Cows and Einstein Squid; Joyfully Vegucating Your Community

Contact: 248-219-3991, rae@plantpeacedaily.org

“We are all powerful co-creators of the world we would like to live in. By making choices that align with our values and encouraging others to do the same, we get a little closer to that vision every day.”

Casey Taft, PhD (MA)

Casey Taft, PhD is a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. He is an internationally recognized clinical researcher in the area of violence prevention and has published over one hundred journal articles, book chapters, and scientific reports. He is also co-owner of Vegan Publishers, a vegan-themed publishing company, and sees the prevention of violence towards nonhuman animals as a natural extension of his interpersonal violence work. He is the author of Motivational Methods for Vegan Advocacy.

Sample Talks: How to Best Help Nonhuman Animals; Mom, Dad, I'm Vegan: Understanding Your Vegan Family Member; Violence or Compassion in the Home and on the Farm.

Contact: 617-872-3623, contact@veganpublishers.com

“I'm honored to join the AVS Speakers Bureau and be a part of an amazing network of advocates who understand the value of vegan education.”

Laura Theodore (NC)


Laura Theodore is a Taste-award-winning, public-television chef, and an award-winning recording artist. She hosts the Jazzy Vegetarian vegan cooking series on public television, and the podcast radio show, Jazzy Vegetarian Radio. Laura has authored cookbooks: Laura Theodore's Vegan-Ease, Jazzy Vegetarian Classics, and Jazzy Vegetarian. She writes a weekly food column for Mother Earth Living and has been featured in The New York Times, VegNews, Family Circle, and Reader’s Digest. LauraTheodore.com JazzyVegetarian.com.

Sample Talks: Why Vegan? (It’s Easier Than You Think!); Plant-Based and Loving It; Vegan Recipes for the Holidays; Cooking with a Rainbow of Colors; Living Vegan in an Omnivore’s World

Contact: laura@jazzyvegetarian.com

“AVS is the ultimate resource for anyone looking to embrace a vegan lifestyle. My passion in life is to support that compassionate way of life through speaking, sharing my recipes, writing cookbooks, broadcast cooking shows and music. Make the world a better place, one vegan recipe at a time!”

Will Tuttle, PhD (CA)

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Will Tuttle, PhD is an author, educator, pianist, and composer. Author of The World Peace Diet, a former Zen monk, a dharma master in the Korean Zen tradition, and thirty-year vegan, he is devoted to cultural healing and awakening and has seven CD albums of original piano music. worldpeacediet.org

Sample Talks: The World Peace Diet; Creating a New Culture of Peace; Being Healthy & Saving the Planet; Heart Teachings on the Dharma Path; Keys to Effective Vegan Advocacy; Metaphysics of Food; Vegan Living & World Peace

Contact: 800-697-6614, willtuttle@earthlink.net

“I’m grateful for the pioneering work of AVS and delighted to share the same mission of bringing the healing and empowering vegan message of compassion for all living beings to our world. Making an effort to learn how to thrive as vegans in a not-yet vegan world, and to be effective advocates for vegan living, is the most benevolent action we can take today!”

Mark Wendt, MS, LPC (MN)

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Mark Wendt, MS, LPC ,(MN) is a college counselor and coach with expertise in health and sports psychology. Mark developed DINOCARDS, the How You Do That career education series, and coauthored Get Graduated. Mark’s focus on health began in 2000 when he and other members of his family were suffering from obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease; they decided to choose a healthier lifestyle. Mark subsequently lost 30 pounds and lowered his cholesterol by 200 points. He became a barefoot runner and is currently working to complete a marathon in every state.

Sample Talks: The Vegan Runner; Using Nutrition to Enhance Student Performance; The Athlete and the Doctor

Contact: 715-862-0419, careerguy84@yahoo.com

“Becoming vegan saved my life, and opened up a whole new world. It’s an honor to share this message with others through AVS.”